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Red Sox activate Steven Wright, option Heath Hembree to Pawtucket

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Steven Wright is back from the disabled list and set to take the mound Friday night in Fenway.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have activated Steven Wright ahead of his Friday night start against the Royals, optioning Heath Hembree to Pawtucket to make room.

Wright has been absent since injuring his shoulder running the bases in Los Angeles, but after a couple successful bullpen sessions has been cleared to make his return to the rotation. Wright's numbers had been slipping some in July, but his last outing saw him throw a complete game shutout against the Dodgers, so it's hard to say he was heading in the wrong direction.

Hembree hasn't completely earned the demotion, at least on the mound. He's been tagged for one earned run in four innings of work since making his return, though there's also that one unearned run that ended Wednesday's extra-innings game against the Rays which came as a result of his own defensive gaffe.

Still, with rosters expanding in less than a week, it's not terribly surprising to see the Red Sox prioritize preserving depth rather than simply dumping someone like Abad, beleaguered though he may be. Hembree will be back come September, along with some other arms that the Sox hope will help out their ragtag relief corps.